The Rolling Stones – “Blue & Lonesome” Album Review

rolling-stones-blue-and-lonesome

Blue & Lonesome

Released: December 2, 2016
Genre: Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Blues Rock
Producer(s): Don Was, The Glimmer Twins (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards)
Label: Polydor
Length: 42:36

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“Blue & Lonesome” In the Studio


OVERVIEW

Rolling Stones are surely wrapping 2016 up with a style! The rock&roll Gods are back with a phenomenal collection of spirited covers, bringing us back to the golden days of blues. “Blue & Lonesome” is Rolling Stones’ first album to feature exclusively cover songs. Among the twelve blues jewels, we get to listen to interpretations of forgotten but classic tracks by Howlin’ Wolf, Willie Dixon, Buddy Johnson, Memphis Slim and other legendary bluesmen. Long-time friend and a fellow blues musician Eric Clapton is another intriguing highlight of “Blue & Lonesome”. Clapton’s God-like guitar skills can be heard on “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” and “I Can’t Quit You Baby”.

Recorded within just a few days, with no preparation whatsoever, “Blue & Lonesome” is the perfect example of how The Rolling Stones can effortlessly craft some serious magic out of nowhere and still sound as confident as ever. It took them a decade (their previous album -“A Bigger Bang” was released in 2005) but the Stones are back! Don’t get fooled – the all-covers track selection is certainly not a cheesy sentimental yearning for the past. It’s goes way beyond that! “Blue & Lonesome” is Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts having fun, sounding unbelievably fresh, and skilfully introducing blues to the younger generations. A fearless journey back to the roots, resulting in a rediscovery of self, this new album might be their best work since the classic years of the Stones.

The Glimmer Twins, along with producer Don Was are intentionally preserving the rawness and authenticity of the recording sessions, in perfect alignment with the spirit of the 50s and the 60s. Similarly to the attitude of Eric Clapton on his 2016 album “I Still Do”, the Rolling Stones are doing music their own way without a single care in the world. Not that the Stones were ever much bothered with things like keeping up the with trends or working days and nights on perfect multi-platinum singles BUT if their ultimate freedom had a name, it would be “Blue & Lonesome”.  (I am mentioning Eric Clapton because those two albums are the highlights of 2016 blues releases.)

“Just Your Fool” (Buddy Johnson) opens the door to the world of “Blue & Lonesome”. Mick Jagger is absolutely killing it on this tune – raw, brave and soulful, his vocal delivery is obviously reflecting his high level of satisfaction with this album. The slow-paced blues symphonies – “Little Rain” (Ewart G. Abner Jr. and Jimmy Reed), “All of Your Love” (Magic Sam) and the atmospheric title track “Blue & Lonesome” (Memphis Slim) are among the most memorable tunes of the album. Jagger’s harmonica is making a statement throughout the entire album, bringing us back to the early days of the Stones. Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood’s guitars are excitably racing on the blues highway, each showcasing easeful determination and laid-back energy. The terrific drum beats of Charlie Watts are breathing new life into the old blues. “Hate to See You Go” (Little Walter) – the first song to get a MV makeover is one charming and immensely uplifting trip to the 50s. “Everybody Knows About My Good Thing” is a personal favorite, mostly due to Mick Jagger’s rough, genuine vocals.

“Blue & Lonesome” offers a galvanizing experience to the roots of the Stones, yet capturing their personalities and strengths in a modern, refreshing way. It’s been a while since we’ve seen the rock&roll legends’ confidence shine so brightly on a record. They came back home!

Tracklist:

“Just Your Fool”
“Commit a Crime”
“Blue and Lonesome”
“All of Your Love”
“I Gotta Go”
“Everybody Knows About My Good Thing”
“Ride ‘Em On Down”
“Hate To See You Go”
“Hoo Doo Blues”
“Little Rain”
“Just Like I Treat You”
“I Can’t Quit You Baby”

 Hate To See You Go

Ride ‘Em On Down

Just Your Fool

Ride ‘Em On Down – Blue & Lonesome (60” clip)


References:
“Blue and Lonesome” Official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_%26_Lonesome_(The_Rolling_Stones_album)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

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